The Bruins have had probably a little bit more off-time than they would have liked since the regular season began, but at least the games count now. As the calendar nears November, the action is about to pick up in earnest for the Black and Gold.
That’s especially good news for Bruins fans who might be getting sick of waiting through long layoffs in between games. It’s especially good news if you’re a fan of the new series Behind The B, which is going behind the scenes with the Bruins this year for a never-before-seen look at the team. The third episode aired Monday, and it’s clear that the series is only going to get better as we start to get a look at the team in the midst of regular-season play and everything that comes along with it.
Here are some of the highlights from the third episode, which can be seen in its entirety by clicking here.
Episode 3 began with the team’s flight back from Saskatoon, where the Bruins wrapped up their preseason schedule. The plane served as Peter Chiarelli’s mobile office, and he informed players of pending roster moves on the flight back.
Matt Lindblad was shown being sent back to Providence. “What’s important now is to go down and play and play a lot of games,” Chiarelli told Lindblad. “I don’t think it’s your spot for you to be the 13th or 14th forward. For your game, I think you’ve gotta play more.” Coincidentally, Lindblad has played in just one game at Providence after suffering an injury.
From there, it was on to a team function. One of the purposes of the show is to expose fans to the players away from the ice and expose their human sides. We saw that here with Milan Lucic pushing his baby around in a stroller and Zdeno Chara swinging his tiny daughter around by the arms. It’s a humorous sight.
After that, it was off to Vermont for the annual team-building trip. On the bus ride up to the Green Mountain State, the Bruins — at least a few of them — decided to sing along to Creed’s “With Arms Wide Open.” That was kind of funny, but not as funny as whoever asked “Is this Pearl Jam?”
Jim Grout, director of High 5 Adventure Learning, where the Bruins retreat took place at, recalled what Mark Recchi once said about the idea of team-building: “Mark Recchi was on the team, veteran in the league, been around a long time … what makes a winning team. He said two things: connections and chemistry. He said good connections lead to good chemistry and good chemistry leads to winning teams. That was his feeling on it.”
The Vermont trip also included things like:
Tuukka Rask getting ready to ride a horse.
Gregory Campbell shooting a bow and arrow.
Chris Kelly sawing wood.
Daniel Paille showing off his Frisbee skills, fading the disc around a giant bear cutout.
Paille riding a bike and navigating.
You know, dude stuff.
Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs made an appearance. He was at TD Garden for Bruins media day the day before the season began, and he also spoke to the team. “It’s been 39 great years, but I’ve never seen an accumulation of talent like I see this year. But that means nothing if you don’t play like a team and like a Bruin. We’re looking to win because we’ve got the skill level to win and the people and the talent.”
We also got to see Dennis Seidenberg sign his four-year, $16 million contract. It’s kind of weird to realize that a contract in sports is actually just that — a contract. It’s on paper and everything. It must be pretty cool to sign some pieces of paper that get you $16 million, too. It’s probably also pretty cool to use a fancy pen like that. It makes you wonder if Chiarelli has a “contract pen” that he keeps stored away and only brings out when there’s a contract to be signed.
The next scene featured the season opener against Tampa Bay. We got to see Claude Julien rifle off the starting lineup, which is something we became accustomed to seeing during 24/7 seasons, like when Dan Bylsma announces Marc-Andre Fleury is starting by saying “The Flower’s in the cage.”
Speaking of announcing the goaltender, there’s no way Rask even hears him. He’s too locked in.
…on his smelling salts, that is.
The carpet of the Bruins’ dressing room depicts a hockey rink ice surface. That’s by design. We saw Patrice Bergeron “diagramming” during the first intermission.
Speaking of Bergeron, you certainly get an idea of how involved he is in executing the game plan and how much he tries to help his teammates do the same. On more than one occasion, he was shown talking strategy with teammates.
One of the other light-hearted scenes came when Torey Krug hitched a ride with Matt Bartkowski to practice in Wilmington. There were donut jokes and a little bit of a rush singalong. That was pretty funny, and it also allowed Krug to tweet an I Love You, Man reference after the episode aired.
As is custom in hockey — at least it used to be back in the day — players who sign new contracts end up buying gifts for their teammates. Bergeron signed a huge eight-year, $52 million contract extension this summer. His gift to his teammates? A gift card to Hugo Boss and apparently some sort of drink? Perhaps of the adult variety?
Either way, Bergeron also apparently wrote notes to each of his teammates. He may play hockey like a man, but he kind of writes like young’n. Here’s his note to linemate Brad Marchand.
Next up: the Columbus Day matinee against the Detroit Red Wings. Again, this is the best part of the show. We get an in-depth look at what goes on during the games, particularly what is said. A lot of it can’t be shown on TV without a bleep.
One scene that didn’t need editing was when Chris Kelly just kind of ran over Niklas Kronwall as the Bruins center went to the bench. Kronwall apparently asked if the hit was necessary. Jarome Iginla asked David Krejci what was said, and after Krejci told Iginla that Kronwall asked if the hit was necessary, Iginla simply responded, “Absolutely.”
Speaking of Kronwall, he had some great lines. There was that one, and another came during a post-whistle scrum. The forward didn’t like Detroit’s Danny DeKeyser taking liberties with Krejci, so Iginla said to DeKeyser, “There’s bigger guys for you, big boy. Just say the word.”
Bergeron, who is squeaky-clean as it gets, showed that he’ll swear on occasion, too. “Outbattle ’em,” he said during an intermission. “We’re [expletive] tougher and bigger than them. Keep the puck.”
There was also plenty of talking on the first line. They have yet to break out, and that Detroit game was arguably their most frustrating game of the season despite a late goal from Lucic. The episode certainly showed that it’s not for a lack of communication, as they continue to talk among themselves in the search for chemistry.
“We deserve better than that, eh?” Lucic said to his linemates after the Red Wings game. “We keep going like that and we’re gonna get way more goals.”